12.08.2017

How to keep an eye out for eye health

To many, it might be considered their most valued or important sense, and yet it’s the one that is most often at risk. Our eyes are sensitive things, and more of us are developing trouble with them as we grow older and we encounter more dangers to them in day-to-day life. We’re going to take a near-comprehensive look at your eye health, what the dangers are, how to avoid them, and how to keep them in better health even when your sight is already somewhat impaired.

The other potential causes
Our eyesight can naturally deteriorate, depending on how we take care of them and genetic factors at play beyond our control. But it’s important to know that some other serious diseases and conditions can be linked to eyesight, so it’s always worth investigating if we have any issue with them. Diabetes is one of the most common and preventable chronic diseases in the world, and often worsening eyesight can be one of the first symptoms of being pre-diabetic. Moving clouds in our vision can be a sign of retinal detachment. Temporary vision loss can be a sign of a tumor in the brain. Black spots in vision can be a symptom of treatable degenerative conditions. It’s important to be aware that eye problems aren’t just eye-related and that it’s important to get checked out even when you experience temporary issues.
The risks that it poses
Even if the causes of eyesight deterioration are less serious, that doesn’t mean they’re not a concern to take seriously. Problems with eyesight can hurt you in other ways, too. There’s the obvious risk that living with worse vision can lead to accidents and injuries. But it’s also linked to increased chances of mental and emotional health disorders such as depression, stress, and anxiety. In turn, these issues can lead to higher blood pressure, higher risk of heart attack, a lack of sleep and many other real lifestyle changes that can get in your way.
The importance of seeing right again
For the reasons above and many more, it’s important that we invest in glasses or contact lenses as soon as we know that we need to. For one, it can mitigate the risks associated with vision difficulties. But it also stops them from getting a lot worse. If you have bad eyesight and you don’t take measures to correct your vision, you will strain your eyes, making the problem get worse. But there are also varieties like Spektrum Glasses that can protect your eyes from some of the risks around you. You can get glare protection that keeps them from UV light or blue light that’s given off by electronics, further preventing eye strain.

Care for your eyewear
An important part of making sure that your corrective measures are doing their job is taking the time to take care of them. Dirty glasses make for worse vision, which again means that you’re worsening your own vision issues. But the most dangerous kind of negligence is failing to take care of your contact lens. It’s estimated that less than 10%, even as low as 2%, properly maintain their contact lenses. Not only does this mean they’re less effective at repairing your sight, but it can lead to a real risk of eye infection. These infections aren’t just painful, they can lead to serious risks such as blood infections and even permanent damage to your eye. Make sure you wash your hands thoroughly when handling lenses, use solution to clean and maintain them, and know when to replace them.
Maintain good habits
It should be no surprise that the same healthy habits important for just about every other part of the body are also important to the health of your eyes. Avoiding unhealthy habits like smoking is the best place to start. Smoking can lead to a whole range of eye health problems, including glaucoma, macular degeneration, and nerve damage as well as contributing to diabetes. Diabetes, the leading cause of blindness in adults, is also fought by maintaining a healthy weight, so know what your ideal weight is and maintain it through diet and exercise. Finally, sleep and eyesight are very closely linked. A lack of sleep can lead not only to eye spasms but also eye strain and popped blood vessels, which accumulates damage over time to worsen your vision.
Beware the screen
If you work at a computer or you simply spend much of your free time in front of a monitor, television, or phone screen, you are probably well aware of the uncomfortable feeling of eyestrain. Not only is it unpleasant, however, it is genuinely dangerous. Not only can it worsen eyesight over time, but it can lead to something called computer vision syndrome, which causes headaches, dry eyes, red eyes, blurred vision, double vision, and difficulty focusing your vision. There are a lot of products like NuShield screen protectors that help remove some of the blue light glare from electronic screens, but it’s better to take breaks more regularly, too.

Blink to better health
One of the issues that we have when using electronics is that we often forget to blink when we’re using them. Not blinking leads to eye dryness which can cause issues over time. It’s a habit that might not come naturally, but remember to blink more often. It plays an important process in lubricating the eye, which protects it from dust, damage, and infection. If you have persistent trouble with dry eyes, then look at products like Refresh artificial tears. They can help you top up the lubrication in there, but there are other treatments for chronic eye dryness that don’t involve eye droplets if you have difficulty using them.
Be cool
There’s nothing like a pair of shades to help make any look instantly cooler. However, sunglasses play a more important role than that. Sunlight in the eye isn’t only uncomfortable, it can be dangerous, too. We’ve already mentioned prescription glasses that can help block out UV light. Exposure to ultraviolet rays will deteriorate eyes over time, and lead to conditions like cataracts clouding the lenses of the eye, macular degeneration, AMD, growths in the eyes, including cancers, and much, much more. If you’re buying sunglasses, make sure they’re not just tinting your vision, as some of the cheaper pairs do. Look for those that have the ANSI logo featured on them or their packaging, as this means they’re genuinely going to block out UV light. If you’re not wearing sunglasses, avoiding facing the sun and avoid reflective environments that just bounce the glare right back up at you.
Eat to see
We’ve all heard the idea that carrots help improve your eyesight and even help you see in the dark. That might be a bit of an urban myth perpetuated by World War 2 propaganda, interestingly, but that doesn’t mean that your diet can’t help your eyesight. There are plenty of foods to improve eye health. Carrots might not be as helpful as you think, but dark leafy greens like spinach and kale do. These contain lutein and zeaxanthin, which help protect vision, absorb blue light better, and improve central vision. Omega-3 fatty acids, most easily found in fish like salmon, provides support for the eye cells, helping them be more resilient and repair more easily. There are plenty of supplements directly targeting eyesight that you may want to consider, too.

Protect them at work
The risk of real physical damage to the eye is one that we don’t want to think about too often, but in the workplace, it’s more likely to be a reality. If you work in an office job, then protecting them from screen glare and eye strain might be the most of your worries. If you work in manufacturing, construction, or any other physical labor, then protective eyewear is crucial to stop debris from getting in there. Even dust, when it irritates the eyes, can lead to things like infections. If you work with chemicals, and this includes heavy-duty cleaning products, make sure you have goggles on to keep fumes from getting into the eyes, too.
Work on it
Beyond protecting your vision, you can do some work to try to better improve it, as well. You might not be able to turn the clock back on the damage if you already need glasses, but like any part of the body, your eyes can be exercised. You can rub your palms together to create heat and place them over your eyes, helping them relax. Just avoid letting in light when you’re doing that. Rolling your eyes, practicing maintaining focus on objects at different distances, and massaging your temples can help you maintain better eyesight in the short-term, too, which leads to less eye strain.
All of our eyes tend to get worse as we age. The better we take care of them and manage our eye health now, the more of our sight we’re likely to keep in later life. Be aware of the risks, of the solutions, and keep an eye out for your eye health

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